Here's what I saw and how I felt about our first day of school in San Francisco:
As we arrived, parents & families were allowed to stand with their students as they assembled in a line by their teachers. We were greeted by smiles from parents near us and the silence seemed to say, "We're all here together."
We introduced ourselves to his teacher. She has a long teaching record here at the school and seems very confident. We told her that we are her biggest fans and want to be a help to her this year.
The principal welcomes everyone to school - in Spanish and English! Most of the students are Hispanic with a small number Caucasian and Asian. In regards to school, we have always been in the majority, but I have to be honest and say, that being the minority feels no different today.
We were able to follow the class line into the school and into the room along with other families. Elijah found his spot at the table and began the work before him.
With a lump in my throat I stepped back.
Up til now it's been research, logistics, paperwork, school shopping.
Elijah is an independent, strong-willed child.
He thrives on routine and learning.
Since preschool, it's been easy to release him to other teachers.
It feels different today.
Why? I ask myself.
He's getting older. He's growing more independent.
We teach our boys to do much on their own and Elijah is doing just that.
And I'm going to state the obvious here, we don't live in a small town anymore where you know all your neighbors or at least see them at the grocery store or wave when you drive by.
We released him, knowing no one.
But we do know and trust in a God who loves Elijah very much and has his best interests at heart.
Here's what Elijah has to say about his first day of first grade:
"I made friends with those at my table and even played at recess with them."
Speaking of recess, "We have 3 recesses! That's more than I had in Kindergarten. And you said first grade was gonna be more hard."
When school was over and I was there to greet him, Elijah came running to me. It was as if mission was accomplished for the day.
"Awesome, mom. Awesome." were the first words out of his mouth.
And on the drive home, Elijah stretched up his arms and said, "I'm exhausted."